Cadiz ‘swimming sensation’ harvests 3 golds at WVRAA

Zach Lucas Obsioma with coach, Lyn Rabusa
Zach Lucas Obsioma with coach, Lyn RabusaCADIZ PIO PHOTOS
Zach with his swimming mentor Max Formales
Zach with his swimming mentor Max FormalesCADIZ PIO PHOTOS

A 10-year-old boy from Cadiz City afflicted with the rare Phocomelia disease recently competed at the Western Visayas Regional Athletic (WVRAA) Meet in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City. 

Despite his condition, which resulted in the absence of the proximal aspect of his extremities, he won three gold medals in the swimming events of the paragames.  

Phocomelia syndrome is a rare congenital anomaly characterized by the absence of the proximal aspect of an extremity, with the hand or foot attached directly to the trunk. 

Due to this condition, the boy has very tiny feet and uses a skateboard for his daily mobility. 

Dubbed the "swimming sensation" of the WVRAA Meet, the boy, Zach Lucas Obsioma, showed remarkable fearlessness during his games from May 3 to 5. 

 He won gold medals in the 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke, and 50-meter freestyle events. Zach, a Level 5 student at the Special Education (SPED) Training Center in Cadiz City, only started to show interest in swimming last year, after being encouraged by the late Cherill Ducay, the SPED-Cadiz City coordinator. 

With just over two months of swimming training, Zach performed well in various competitions, including the Palarong Panlalawigan in Negros Occidental, the WVRRA in Aklan, and the Palarong Pambansa in Marikina City last year. 

 The Mayor of Cadiz, Salvador Escalante Jr., praised Zach's fearlessness and physical prowess despite his disability. 

Winning three gold medals in the WVRAA Meet is an extraordinary feat for a person with a disability (PWD) like Zach and is worthy of commendation, he said. 

 Zach's mother, Maria Evita, expressed her gratitude to coaches Max Fermales and Lyn Rabuya for their patience and dedication in training and mentoring Zach. 

She also thanked the local government of Cadiz for their all-out support for Zach and the other Cadiz athletes who participated in the WVRAA 2024.*

Scenes during the 2024 WVRAA Opening Ceremony at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City, May 2.
Scenes during the 2024 WVRAA Opening Ceremony at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City, May 2. CAPITOL PHOTOS
Scenes during the 2024 WVRAA Opening Ceremony at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City, May 2.
Scenes during the 2024 WVRAA Opening Ceremony at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City, May 2. CAPITOL PHOTOS
Scenes during the 2024 WVRAA Opening Ceremony at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City, May 2.
Scenes during the 2024 WVRAA Opening Ceremony at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City, May 2. CAPITOL PHOTOS

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